Moses Maimonides was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher born in 1135 in Muslim-ruled Cordoba during the golden age of Jewish culture in Spain. Among his most famous works are the Guide for the Perplexed and the Mishneh Torah, a code of Jewish law from which this selection is taken. In this excerpt, Maimonides gives a concise account of eight different kinds of giving, compelling us to consider what is given, how it is given, when it is given, to whom it is given, and why it is given. His ranking of levels of giving also invites us to think about our own experiences, motivations and criteria for giving.
*CCR cannot guarantee the accuracy or continued availability of this online text. Please notify us if you encounter any problems.
The Civically Engaged Reader, eds. Davis & Lynn, (Great Books Foundation, 2006).
Civically Engaged Reader